Stock futures fall slightly as Wall Street anticipates October jobs report

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A trader works on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, August 3, 2022.

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

U.S. stock futures fell slightly Thursday night after the major averages dropped for a fourth day, and investors looked ahead to the October jobs report for clues into the pace of future rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell by 75 points, or 0.23%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 0.29% and 0.28%, respectively.

Investors absorbed a raft of corporate earnings reports in extended trading. Mobile payment stock Block surged 13% after beating expectations on the top and bottom lines in its third-quarter results. Shares of Carvana dropped more than 9% after the company posted a wider-than-expected loss and missed sales expectations.

During the regular session Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 146.51 points, or about 0.5%. The S&P 500 lost nearly 1.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite shed 1.7%. Investors weighed the latest 0.75 percentage point rate hike from the Fed, as well as commentary from chair Jerome Powell that suggested a pivot could be further away than traders anticipated.

The October nonfarm payrolls report on Friday will give investors further clues into where the economy stands, and how much work the central bank has ahead of it to bring down inflation. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect 205,000 jobs were added last month and predict that the unemployment rate held steady at 3.5%.

“They’re trying to crush demand, which makes tomorrow’s jobs number extraordinarily important, because if you get a good jobs number in terms of things haven’t deteriorated on the jobs front, that really makes a difficult job for [the central bank] that much more,” Private Advisor Group’s Guy Adami said Thursday on CNBC’s “Fast Money.”

Investors are also expecting a third-quarter report from AMC Networks before the bell Friday.

All the major averages are on track to close out the week with losses. Through Thursday, the Dow is down 2.62%, and set to end four weeks of gains.

The S&P and Nasdaq are down 4.64% and 6.84%, respectively, on pace to break two-week winning streaks. The tech-heavy Nasdaq is on pace for its worst weekly performance since January 2022.

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